Monthly Archives: September 2011

Reimagining Tibet in Sino-Indian Relations

The Tibetan government-in-exile has a new political leader. Lobsang Sangay took over not only as the new Kalon Tripa or Prime Minister but also stepped into the Dalai Lama’s shoes as political leader of the Tibetan exile movement. This handover of power to a younger generation of Tibetan leaders – democratically elected by the Tibetan community in exile – is an important milestone in the Tibetan struggle and has significant implications for China. Continue reading Reimagining Tibet in Sino-Indian Relations

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Grand Old Parties: The Chinese Communist Party and the Congress (I)

The Communist Party of China (CPC) celebrated the 90th anniversary of its founding in July this year. From being unambiguously communist in ideology and a party of the masses, the CPC today is an elitist organization that has under its canopy competing factions with differing economic philosophies united only by a common desire to preserve the Party in power.

To take a China-India comparison, one might ask – is the CPC evolving into the equivalent of India’s Congress (I)? Continue reading Grand Old Parties: The Chinese Communist Party and the Congress (I)

China-Pakistan Relations after Osama bin Laden

Osama bin Laden’s death and the circumstances of his killing continue to provoke plenty of comment and analyses as to what it means for the future of US-Pakistan relations. By contrast, there has been considerably less attention paid to the implications for Sino-Pakistani relations. This paper argues that the killing of bin Laden, while increasing frictions in the US-Pak relationship, does not necessarily also mean a warming of Sino-Pak ties. The latter relationship is, in fact, bound up in a number of issues over and beyond the US-Pak equation. These include Chinese concerns over ethnic separatism in its Xinjiang province and the post-US drawdown stability of Afghanistan, the Sino-Indian equation, the Sino-US relationship and Chinese economic interests in Pakistan.

Read the full article here: Jabin T. Jacob, “The Future of China-Pakistan Relations after Osama bin Laden,” Associate Paper, Future Directions International (Perth), 8 August 2011.

Hillary Clinton’s India Visit: Chinese Elephant in the Room

During her visit to India for the 2nd Indo-US Strategic Dialogue, last week, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called upon India to “not just to look east, but to engage east and act east as well”. But the problem in New Delhi might well be an incapacity to ‘think east’ beyond the boundary dispute with China or trying to retain a toehold against Chinese dominance in Myanmar.  What engagement there is occurs in the economic domain but India remains overcautious in its political and military outreach to the Asia-Pacific. Continue reading Hillary Clinton’s India Visit: Chinese Elephant in the Room

Arunachal: One Step Back, Two Steps Forward?

In July 2011, China issued stapled visas to Arunachali members of an Indian karate team to China, who were later duly stopped from proceeding by Indian immigration authorities. This Chinese action is the latest in a long list of moves designed to highlight their claim over Arunachal Pradesh.

Yet, it would be a mistake to call this a provocation. There is a difference between stapled visas being issued for Kashmiris and those for Arunachalis. Continue reading Arunachal: One Step Back, Two Steps Forward?

Learning Chinese, Understanding China

This is a presentation, I made at the Department of Chinese Language, Foreign Languages Wing, Army Education Corps Training College and Centre in Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh in early July 2011.

The officers and other ranks learn in Chinese in a 96-week course starting at the beginner’s level. I basically, shared with them my own experiences of studying Chinese in Taiwan and given that most of the students will be frequently posted in Sino-Indian border also gave them a broad overview of the Chinese political and administrative system and of Sino-Indian border relations.

Download the full presentation here: JabinJacob-2011Jul8-ArmyEdnCorps-Learning Chinese, Studying China

Indian Democracy’s China Responsibility

Between 1851 and 1864, China was convulsed by the Taiping rebellion against the Qing dynasty. Britain using its Indian troops intervened on behalf of the Qing in order to try and put down the insurrection. However, from 1857 onwards, when the sepoy mutiny broke out in India, small numbers of Indian soldiers inspired by events back home often switched sides to join the Chinese rebels in the ‘anti-imperial’ struggle. [1] Continue reading Indian Democracy’s China Responsibility

Sino-Indian Boundary Dispute: Provinces/States as Ice-Breakers

Original Article: Jabin T. Jacob, “The Sino-Indian Boundary Dispute: Sub-National Units as Ice-Breakers,” Eurasia Border Review (Hokkaido University, Japan), Vol. 2, No. 1, Summer 2011, pp.35-45.

Abstract: Despite being among the fastest growing world economies, interactions between China and India remain limited owing to their unresolved boundary dispute. Tensions have grown over rapid military and infrastructure development by both countries along the disputed boundary but these developments can also be used as opportunities to encourage development in the relatively poor and underdeveloped provinces and countries along their disputed boundary. In this context, it is important to also understand domestic socioeconomic and political developments taking place in these border provinces how they might shape the future contours of the Sino-Indian boundary dispute and relations.

Given that in both China and India, years of prioritizing national security considerations over political accommodation and economic development in their provinces have not really led to the fulfillment of any national security objectives, the time has come to examine if prioritizing the latter set of considerations to the benefit of their border provinces can ensure peace and stability between China and India. The solution to both the political and economic discontent of Chinese and Indian provinces as well as the unresolved boundary dispute between the two countries could be to allow their provinces greater freedom to interact with each other in terms of people-to-people and economic contacts.

Read the full article here.

China and the end of Osama

Osama bin Laden finally met his end in Pakistan in May 2011. While the world and Pakistan have not changed all that much since then, the killing of bin Laden did shake the Chinese up in more ways than one. From ordinary netizen to government-run media, there was disbelief (“Impossible! I don’t believe it”), sarcasm (“Sigh! Bin Laden has died once again!!”) and worries of a geopolitical sort (“After Bin Laden, will China become US foe?”).

Continue reading China and the end of Osama